When you set out to create something, the conventional, conditioned part of you sets off fear alarms, in the form of resistance and self-sabotage.
Stephen Pressfield’s book Turning Pro, talks a lot about this tendency, which he calls resistance, in terms of the “shadow self” of Jewish Kabbalism.
“The [conventional] self doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t love you. It has its own agenda and it will kill you,” says Pressfield, quoting rabbi Mordecai Finley. “It will kill you like cancer…to achieve its agenda, which is to prevent you from actualizing your [creative] self.”
Overcoming this resistance is tricky. Try to suppress it and it will bounce back, twice as strong.
As Audre Lorde once wrote: “The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house“.
We can’t change behaviour rooted in negative, fear-based thinking by adding more negative and fear-based thinking about why you “shouldn’t” be doing it.
To fight it is to strengthen and entrench it.
Drop All Judgement
The solution is to observe the resistance and self-sabotaging behaviour — without trying to change it.
Just looking at it deeply is enough.
Looking deeply is not the same thing as thinking deeply — adding thought or talk is the opposite to the deeper work of igniting the observing, creative mind.
Most of us need practices like F-R-E-E-Writing and/or meditation to develop the conscious awareness of thoughts, emotions, and actions that can protect you from self-sabotage.